Today I woke up really feeling the season. I sat near the window sipping my hot yerba mate. The window was open a wee bit. I felt the chill. I watched a woman down below walking her dog, holding onto a coffee and was mesmerized by the steam coming from her cup. She crunched the red leaves with her boots (the ones you see above). She was bundled up. I think its finally Christmas in Southern California.
My boys were sleeping. I could hear Boho Boy's heaving breathing through the baby monitor. I glanced up at our Christmas tree and took a deep breath. This time last year we had a newborn. Cedar was one month old. Boho Boy's brother was in town from Canada and we stayed at a hotel near the beach. We were missing family and we thought the beach would make up for that longing. It did...just a little bit. A Christmas we'll never forget. Many hours of snuggling our wee little boy while listening to ocean waves rather than Christmas music. It was surreal. Boho Brother would come in after hours of long walks along the coast and bring us a bag of beautiful rocks and sea pretties.
This year a new tradition is beginning. My older sister Darlene and her husband just bought a farm on an orchard of almond trees in Northern California. On Christmas eve we are having a party at the farm. Finger foods and baked goods and wine and beer and so much togetherness. This will be the first party we've had in years. I am aching to see my grown up nieces and nephews (ages 16 - 27) and sit face to face and hear them. Truly find where they are in all places in their lives.
Christmas morning we will wake up at my parents house at the bottom of the Sierra Foothills and watch Cedar in his bliss, probably snuggled up to Callie-Lu...my parents snickerdoodle, I mean Golden Doodle doggie. Then again to the farm later that day for a more formal turkey dinner. Boho Boy will be barbecuing veggies. My sister Pamela is doing the yams with marshmallow goodness. My niece Angela is stir frying veggies. Darlene & Jay doing the turkey (brined for 24 hours beforehand). Boho Boy, his famous cranberry sauce with bourbon and my marmie is whipping up her delicious layered jello salad.
There will be walks down the orchard lane, all bundled up and arm and arm. Rides on the ATV with Cedar (either squealing or crying...we shall see if it is fun for him!). I am so stoked to see their new home. A home that Darlene said was "meant to gather her loved ones all in one place as much as possible".
Cedar is all everyone is talking about in anticipation for this time together. How this is the first Christmas they are spending with him and how he will be our entertainment and our joy. You can imagine how full my heart feels. It is full to bursting. Full to tears. They have been on this journey with us...every step of the way and because of this, Cedar holds such a remarkable place in their hearts.
We are leaving tomorrow morning and I am taking a blogging break until we arrive home in the New Year.
I wish each of you hearts full to bursting at this time. I wish you gentle flowing peace during the hard parts...as I know full well holidays can be so bitter sweet.
Happy holidays to the most warm, authentic, loving, moving, inspiring, radical, dear and gentle readers in the blog planet.